COVID-19 Resources

Frequently Asked Questions
Updated 8/9/21

What is the difference between isolation vs. quarantine?

Isolation is for positive people:

Once diagnosed as positive, you must "isolate" for 10 days and must be symptom-free and fever-free for 24 hours before you can return to school, work, etc. Isolation will continue until this 24-hour span is achieved. Isolated people should not be around anyone and should stay home to decrease transmission of the virus.

Quarantine is for exposed people:

If you have been within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more of someone who tests positive, you are a close contact and are exposed to the virus. Individuals who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine after contact with someone who has COVID-19. The CDC also includes the following instances as close contacts:

  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19.
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them).
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils.
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you.

If you are a close contact, you must quarantine using one of the following options:

  • 7 days with a negative PCR nasal swab or rapid antigen nasal swab test result (tested on day 5, 6, or 7) — return to normal activities on day 8.
    • Finger stick blood tests are not accepted by the CDC and the FDA to diagnose active covid infections. These tests are for antibodies only.
  • 10 days without testing — return to normal activities on day 11
  • 14 days quarantine is ideal — return to normal activities on day 15

It takes multiple days after the virus enters your body to build up enough viral particles to test positive.

If you break quarantine by going out in public when you should be at home, you risk exposing other people to the virus. This is especially true for young children as they are more likely to be asymptomatic with COVID-19 than adults, thus appearing normal but carrying the virus. This is why it is critically important that they not have playdates with other children during this time.

The 24-day quarantine:

Here is an example of when a prolonged quarantine is appropriate. Mom tests positive on November 1, and dad and son are negative. Dad and son cannot completely separate from mom at home. Because of this, dad and son must complete mom's 10-day isolation and then begin their quarantine according to the specifications of quarantine listed above, because mom can infect them even on her 10th day of isolation. If anyone tests positive during the long quarantine, they begin their own 10-day isolation period. When it's complete, they are finished and considered immune for some length of time.

It is incumbent on all of us to follow the rules of isolation and quarantine that are the standard designated by the CDC, TN Department of Health, and the Shelby County Health Department. PDS follows these rules closely in order to protect our entire community of students and their families and our faculty and staff. Please help us stay safe.

What is considered an exposure that can cause a COVID-19 infection?

An exposure is close contact with a COVID-19 positive person. Close contact is considered within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more with or without a mask. The CDC also includes the following instances as close contacts:

  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19.
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them).
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils.
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you.
What if my child has symptoms of COVID-19 while at school?

The child will enter the quarantine room in the nurse’s office and an emergency contact will be called for him to be picked up within an hour. The quarantine room has a back exit and will have a quick exit to the outside. All symptomatic children need to be examined by their doctor, who will clinically assess as well as test for multiple conditions (flu, strep, RSV, etc). Depending on test results, the doctor may prescribe treatment or refer for COVID-19 testing. It is important to remember that children are much more likely to have a common cold than COVID-19.

The Tennessee Department of Health suggests the following symptoms are potentially COVID-19 symptoms and should apply to anyone attending or working in a school (i.e. children and adults in schools):

  • Fever (temperature of 100°F or greater) or chills
  • New, worsening cough
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Headache
  • Nasal congestion/runny nose
  • Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea/abdominal pain

If the child with COVID-19 symptoms has a sibling at school, the sibling will be sent home at that time.

What happens if my child tests positive for COVID-19?

You should immediately contact PDS school nurse, Alice Ball, to inform PDS of the positive test results.

The child will be isolated for a minimum of 10 days from the first sign of symptoms, and he must be symptom and fever free for at least 24 hours without medicine before returning to school. Any child returning to school from isolation must coordinate with Alice Ball. No negative test is required to return to school.

If a student has a positive test but is asymptomatic, then the 10 day isolation begins from the date of testing.

Any siblings should quarantine using the following guidelines:

  • 7 days with a negative PCR nasal swab or rapid antigen nasal swab test result (tested within 72 hours of returning to school, day 5, 6, or 7) — return on day 8.
    • Finger stick blood tests are not accepted by the CDC and the FDA to diagnose active covid infections. These tests are for antibodies only.
    • Negative test results must be emailed to the PDS school nurse, Alice Ball, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., no later than 7:00am the day of return to school.
  • 10 days without testing — return on day 11
  • 14 days quarantine is ideal — return to school on day 15

If the positive child cannot totally isolate from his siblings, then the sibling’s quarantine will be longer. Contact Alice Ball for clarification and to coordinate the siblings return to school.

Distance learning for your child will begin and continue through the end of the isolation.

What happens if a child in my son’s classroom tests positive for COVID-19?

PDS will identify and contact those who have been within 6 feet of the child for 15 minutes or more at any time within 48 hours prior to the student’s onset of symptoms until he has left the school property. Individuals who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine after contact with someone who has COVID-19. Other CDC guidelines for close contacts may also be considered such as the following:

  • He had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them).
  • He shared eating or drinking utensils.
  • The child sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on your son.

Those considered close contacts will be required to quarantine from their last exposure. Quarantine options are as follows:

  • 7 days with a negative PCR nasal swab or rapid antigen nasal swab test result (tested within 72 hours of returning to school, day 5, 6, or 7) — return on day 8.
    • Finger stick blood tests are not accepted by the CDC and the FDA to diagnose active covid infections. These tests are for antibodies only.
    • Negative test results must be emailed to the PDS school nurse, Alice Ball, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., no later than 7:00am the day of return to school.
  • 10 days without testing — return on day 11
  • 14 days quarantine is ideal — return to school on day 15

For all of these options, the student must be symptom-free for all of the quarantine period to return. If symptoms develop, the student should be tested. If positive, the student enters isolation for 10 days. The student may return to school after 10 days and once he is fever and symptom free for 24 hours. For classroom quarantine purposes, please report positive tests to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Distance learning for those quarantined will begin and continue through the end of the quarantine.

What happens if a student outside my son’s classroom tests positive for COVID-19?

PDS will identify and contact those who have been within 6 feet of the child for 15 minutes or more at any time within 48 hours prior to the student’s onset of symptoms until the student has left the school property. Individuals who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine after contact with someone who has COVID-19. Other CDC guidelines for close contacts may also be considered such as the following:

  • He had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them).
  • He shared eating or drinking utensils.
  • The child sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on your son.

Those considered close contacts will be required to quarantine as follows:

  • 7 days with a negative PCR nasal swab or rapid antigen nasal swab test result (tested within 72 hours of returning to school, day 5, 6, or 7) — return on day 8.
    • Finger stick blood tests are not accepted by the CDC and the FDA to diagnose active covid infections. These tests are for antibodies only.
    • Negative test results must be emailed to the PDS school nurse, Alice Ball, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., no later than 7:00am the day of return to school.
  • 10 days without testing — return on day 11
  • 14 days quarantine is ideal — return to school on day 15

For all of these options, the student must be symptom-free for all of the quarantine period to return. If symptoms develop, the student should be tested. If positive, the student enters isolation for 10 days. The student may return to school after 10 days and once he is fever and symptom free for 24 hours. For classroom quarantine purposes, please report positive tests to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you are not contacted, your son was not exposed to the COVID-19 student.

What happens if my child’s homeroom teacher tests positive for COVID-19?

PDS will identify and contact those who have been within 6 feet of the teacher for 15 minutes or more at any time within 48 hours prior to the teacher’s onset of symptoms until he or she has left the school property. Individuals who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine after contact with someone who has COVID-19. Other CDC guidelines for close contacts may also be considered such as the following:

  • He had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them).
  • He shared eating or drinking utensils.
  • The child sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on your son.

Anyone with exposure will be required to quarantine as follows:

  • 7 days with a negative PCR nasal swab or rapid antigen nasal swab test result (tested within 72 hours of returning to school, day 5, 6, or 7) — return on day 8.
    • Finger stick blood tests are not accepted by the CDC and the FDA to diagnose active covid infections. These tests are for antibodies only.
    • Negative test results must be emailed to the PDS school nurse, Alice Ball, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., no later than 7:00am the day of return to school.
  • 10 days without testing — return on day 11
  • 14 days quarantine is ideal — return to school on day 15

For all of these options, the student must be symptom-free for all of the quarantine period to return. If symptoms develop, the student should be tested. If positive, the student enters isolation for 10 days. The student may return to school after 10 days and once he is fever and symptom free for 24 hours. For classroom quarantine purposes, please report positive tests to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Distance learning for quarantined students will begin and continue through the end of the quarantine.

What happens if another faculty or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?

PDS will identify and contact those who have been within 6 feet of the teacher for 15 minutes or more at any time within 48 hours prior to the individual’s onset of symptoms until the individual has left school property. Individuals who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine after contact with someone who has COVID-19. Other CDC guidelines for close contacts may also be considered such as the following:

  • He had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them).
  • He shared eating or drinking utensils.
  • The child sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on your son.

Those considered close contacts will be required to self-quarantine as follows:

  • 7 days with a negative PCR nasal swab or rapid antigen nasal swab test result (tested within 72 hours of returning to school, day 5, 6, or 7) — return on day 8.
    • Finger stick blood tests are not accepted by the CDC and the FDA to diagnose active covid infections. These tests are for antibodies only.
    • Negative test results must be emailed to the PDS school nurse, Alice Ball, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., no later than 7:00am the day of return to school.
  • 10 days without testing — return on day 11
  • 14 days quarantine is ideal — return to school on day 15

For all of these options, the student must be symptom-free for all of the quarantine period to return. If symptoms develop, the student should be tested. If positive, the student enters isolation for 10 days. The student may return to school after 10 days and once he is fever and symptom free for 24 hours. For classroom quarantine purposes, please report positive tests to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you are not contacted, your son was not exposed to the COVID-19 faculty or staff member.

Distance learning for those quarantined will begin and continue through the end of the quarantine.

Who will be notified if a teacher or student tests positive for COVID-19?

We will notify the families of students considered close contacts and anyone else who was within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more (as well as other CDC considerations) with the positive case. The positive case will not be identified by name. Alice Ball will notify the Shelby County Health Department of all positive cases per their protocol.

If you hear there has been a positive case at school and you have not been notified, your son was not exposed.

What if someone in my household suspects he/she has COVID-19?

You should keep your child home from school while awaiting test results from anyone within the household. If the test is negative, the student can return to school. If the test is positive, the student should quarantine from the last day he was exposed to the positive family member. If an additional family member gets sick with COVID-19, all negative family members must restart their quarantines. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for clarification. Quarantine guidelines are as follows:

  • 7 days with a negative PCR nasal swab or rapid antigen nasal swab test result (tested within 72 hours of returning to school, day 5, 6, or 7) — return on day 8.
    • Finger stick blood tests are not accepted by the CDC and the FDA to diagnose active covid infections. These tests are for antibodies only.
    • Negative test results must be emailed to the PDS school nurse, Alice Ball, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., no later than 7:00am the day of return to school.
  • 10 days without testing — return on day 11
  • 14 days quarantine is ideal — return to school on day 15

For all of these options, the student must be symptom-free for all of the quarantine period to return. If symptoms develop, the student should be tested. If positive, the student enters isolation for 10 days. The student may return to school after 10 days and once he is fever and symptom free for 24 hours. For classroom quarantine purposes, please report positive tests to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

All positive tests within a PDS household should notify Alice Ball before coming to school so we can ensure there was no on-campus exposure.

Distance learning for the child will begin and continue through the end of the quarantine.

CDC: When to Quarantine

How will distance learning work should my child need to learn from home due to COVID-19 isolations and quarantines?

In the event that an early childhood student is in isolation or quarantine, we will engage in age appropriate instruction required to meet instructional expectations. Every effort will be made to address the need to stay connected with classmates and teachers through Zoom activities as well as activities that will be completed through SeeSaw.

If an elementary student is in isolation or quarantine, we will engage the student in a combination of real-time (synchronous) learning experiences and some asynchronous assignments. As much as possible, a student’s day at home will mimic the on-campus class schedule. Students will use Zoom to be an active part of the classroom while receiving instruction from the classroom teacher and completing work simultaneously with on-campus students. This model not only allows students the opportunity to continue sharing in classroom discussions but also provides an avenue for student collaboration.

Distance learning will not be provided for non-COVID related absences. Other illnesses or absences due to travel will follow our traditional absentee policy found in the Student Handbook.  

Masks Required

Your son's health is a priority for PDS. We will continue to monitor medical and professional experts' information and guidelines or requirements provided by local, state, and federal government offices and agencies.

All children, faculty, staff, and visitors to PDS are required to wear a mask.

COVID-19 Return to School Decision Support Algorithm

Because COVID-19 symptoms are so varied and some appear like normal allergies or colds, we want you to have this Public Health COVID-19 Return to School Decision Support Algorithm from the Tennessee Department of Health.

COVID-19

Update on Elementary Parent Night and Virtue Breakfast

While excitement remains high for this school year, the health and safety of our PDS community is always a top priority. We’ve decided to make a shift in two upcoming events this week in an effort to protect our community from the spread of COVID-19.

  • Elementary Parent Night is now Elementary Zoom Night! Each grade level will be hosting parents for an informative meeting via Zoom starting at 6pm this evening. These meetings will be recorded and emailed at a later date for those unable to join. Please check your inbox later this morning for links to the meetings.

  • The True Friend Virtue Breakfast scheduled for Friday morning will not meet in person. We encourage all families to have breakfast together on your own and discuss the importance of being a True Friend. We look forward to hosting a Virtue Breakfast in October as we study what it means to be a Humble Hero.

Thanks for your continued support!

Mask Policy Update - August 17, 2021

Mask Policy Update - August 17, 2021

| Brad Sewell | News
PDS will still begin this year with students, faculty, staff, and visitors to campus wearing masks indoors while transmission rates remain high. We are closely following the latest changes and will communicate any further developments that affect our protocols on campus.
An Update on Our COVID-19 Policy for the 2021-2022 School Year
Your son's health is a priority for PDS. We will continue to monitor medical and professional experts' information and guidelines or requirements provided by local, state, and federal government offices and agencies. Our primary goal in starting this year is to avoid disruption. We desire to have the boys on campus with their peers, learning, collaborating, being very active, and having fun.
Distance Learning Policy for the 2021-2022 School Year
As we look to the 2021-2022 school year, I want to inform you of a decision regarding distance learning for next year.
Presbyterian Day School
We know boys.

Presbyterian Day School (PDS) is a private, Christian preschool and elementary school serving 500 boys from 2-years-old through 6th grade.

With our mission of striving to glorify God by developing boys in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man, we take a holistic approach to education, nurturing the heart, soul, mind, and body of each boy.

4025 Poplar Avenue
Memphis, TN 38111

901-842-4600

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